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Windmills and water mills

You will find our windmills, with their sails set proudly, amongst the flowering gorse and heather of the local moorland.  The villages of Angoville-sur-Ay, Anneville-sur-Mer, Lessay and Pirou have  retained their windmills, reminders of a bygone age.  The windmill at Anneville-sur-Mer once belonged to the famous sailor, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville.

The Saint-Louis mill at La Feuillie, which once belonged to King Louis IX (Saint Louis), is a watermill which was completely restored in 2003 to host cultural exhibitions.  Pirou’s Moulin de la Tortue was built in 1838 to drain about 100 hectares of agricultural land, using Dutch methods. 

The mill activated a drainage mechanism known as Archimedes’ Screw, which enabled water to be drained 1 metre above the pump system.  The mill lost its usefulness in about 1860 when a canal was built directly to the sea.

Washhouses and wood burning ovens 

There are countless examples throughout the district of this type of heritage: washhouses and communal bread ovens which remind us of the daily life of previous generations.   The washhouse at Vesly has been restored, and now boasts a slate roof.  At La Feuillie, a farmer still uses his old wood-fired oven to make delicious brioche like they used to make in the olden days.

These, and other similar products, are available to buy at the special markets organised by the tourist office every summer.